solar pv

State of Minnesota looking for vendors to complete on-site solar installations

State Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Master Contract RFP Now Open

The State of Minnesota announced an open request for proposals (RFP) for a statewide, on-site solar PV master contract. All qualified solar developers are invited to submit proposals. This is a design-build contract program available for use by all Minnesota State agencies, local governments, schools, and more.

The deadline for responses is March 27, 2020 at 3:00pm.

We talked to Jordan Wente, Research Analysis Specialist with the State of Minnesota's Office of Enterprise Sustainability, to learn more about the opportunity.

What is a “master contract RFP?”

Jordan: A master contract is a base contract with terms, conditions, and ceiling prices for design-build services. It allows for simpler, faster procurement by purchasing authorities. This contract is for design and installation of ground mount, pitched-roof, and flat rooftop (low sloped roof) photovoltaic (PV) installations. Individual projects may include energy storage and may be stand-alone or interconnected for net metering. The RFP also specifies contractual conditions and specifications.

How does the master contract work?

Jordan: To join a master contract program, vendors must demonstrate they are highly qualified.  Vendors first submit a proposal for the master contract RFP following the RFP’s Proposal Content directions. Those responses are evaluated based on the criteria detailed in the RFP.  The highest ranked responders will be offered a master contract.  Vendors who receive a master contract are then eligible to respond to site-specific solicitations for a wide variety of opportunities. The Office of Enterprise Sustainability and the Office of State Procurement administer this master contract program. However, specific project-level solicitations are evaluated and awarded each local purchasing entity.

Why should solar firms participate?

Jordan: Many public entities are currently seeking to procure solar as a means to meet greenhouse gas and energy cost goals. This master contract program is one option available to local governments to procure solar. In the program’s first iteration, the State solicited bids on behalf of 12 jurisdictions and for +50 sites which resulted in almost 2 mega-watt DC of contracted solar. Interest and demand has grown; participating in this program is a valuable opportunity by which to work with public entities.

How can folks get started?

Jordan: First, they’ll need to sign up as a state vendor using the SWIFT portal. Please follow this link to log-in and search for SWIFT event number 2000010532. HERE is a link to register for a State SWIFT account. They must register for an account to sign in and respond to the event. If they run into any issues, they can contact Doug Heeschen at [email protected].

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